Bitter Orange - Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) Peel extract
"Citrus aurantium L. var. amara", "Citrus vulgaris Risso", or "Citrus bigaradia Duhamel". A member of the Rutaceae family, and originally from eastern Asia, the Bitter Orange plant is cultivated along the shores of the Mediterranean and in several countries of America and helps to increase metabolism.
It is a small tree of 4-5 meters in height with a very ramified trunk and prickly branches. The leaves are oval, whole and coriaceous with a limb of 4 to 6 cm in width and petioles with two bracts.
The white flowers have five petals and ten stamens or more, gathered around the axillas of the leaves. The fruit, bitter oranges, are round, rough, orange in color and have a taste which is both sour and bitter.
The part of the plant which is used is the skin of the fruit or the epicarp, although the flowers and leaves of the tree have other uses.
It contains a variety of constituents and includes essential oils, bitter-tasting flavonoids glycosides such as neohesperidin and Naringin, a sugar component neohesperidose, non-bitter flavonoids such as hesperidin, rutoside and more highly methoxylated lipophillic flavonoids like sinensetin, nobiletin, tangeretin as well as pectin and furanocoumarins.
The epicarp contains 4-5% mineral salts, organic acids (citric and malic), 5-8% flavonoids (hesperidoside, naringoside) and 1-2% essential oil (limonene and terpenic alcohols).
The fresh leaves of the bitter orange tree contain 0.20-0.40% essential oils in the form of terpenes and free alcohols. Small concentrations of betaine and flavonoids (hesperidoside) are also found.
There are essential oils in the flowers (0,05-0,10% in the fresh plant), and particularly in the form of free alcohols.
The following table lays out the essential oils in the different parts of citrus fruit.
Citric plants are sources of flavonoids, which abound in the epicarp and which are mainly flavanols:
It is classified as a occlusive skin-conditioning agent as well as a miscellaneous skin conditioning agent and chemically classed as a biological product.
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